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News Release 96-021

National Science Board Elects New Leaders

May 20, 1996

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Board (NSB) has elected a leading chemist and a president of a major state university to lead the science policy body for the next two years. The Board elected Stanford University chemistry professor Richard N. Zare as its chairman, and University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio, who is a linguist by training, as its vice chairman.

The NSB is the governing body of the National Science Foundation, and is made up of 24 members drawn from industry and universities. All Board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve six-year terms. Zare joined the Board in 1992, and Natalicio in 1995.

Zare is renowned for his research in laser chemistry, which has resulted in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level. He received his B.A. in chemistry and his Ph.D. in chemical physics, both from Harvard University. Zare taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado and Columbia University before moving in 1977 to Stanford University, where he holds a named professorship. Among his many honors and memberships, he currently chairs the Council of the National Academy of Sciences. He also received the National Medal of Science in 1985.

Natalicio joined the UTEP faculty in 1971 and has served as its President since 1988. She received her master's in Portuguese and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her major research interests have focused on second language acquisition and bilingualism. Natalicio also serves on the NASA Advisory Council, the Fogarty International Centor advisory board at NIH and the U.S. Mexico (FulbrightGarcia Robles) Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange. She was appointed by President Bush to the Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and served as chair of the board of the American Association for Higher Education.


Media Contacts
Mary E. Hanson, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Jean Pomeroy, NSF, (703) 292-7000, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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